PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island on Monday released a draft report outlining the progress it’s made and the progress it will need to continue to make in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to curb climate change.

The report is part of the state’s landmark Act on Climate law of 2021, which sets binding climate emission reduction targets starting in 2030. By 2050, the state must reach net zero emissions. A final version of the draft report is expected later this month, but this is pretty much what you’ll see in final form.

As noted, based on the models in this report, Rhode Island will still miss its emission reduction targets by 2030 even if it adopts certain efforts to curb climate change. So what more can be done that the report isn’t suggesting? Well, here’s one example: Advocates have called for the state to fully fund the state’s Transit Master Plan and its Bike Mobility Plan.

The report says those contain good ideas, but that’s “not possible at this time.”

Some disagree.

“I would say that like any other policy priority, it’s not accurate for the administration to say that fully funding those plans is not possible,” said Hank Webster, Rhode Island director of the Acadia Center. “It’s a choice, a policy decision not to fully fund those well vetted and approved plans that have been collecting dust.”

Still, Webster describes himself as an optimist, and was overall sanguine about the report and the state’s ability to get to where it needs to go.

“We have the technology and policy solutions that we need to get there,” Webster said.


Read the full article in The Boston Globe here.